Tosca is a favourite opera heroine of mine; like me, she’s a singer, a Catholic lady who’s sometimes tempted to make out in church, and a barely jealous however loving brunette. She lives for magnificence and would favor not to consider critical issues, like Napoleon.
In different phrases, she’s a standard one who leads to a really unhealthy state of affairs and has to react, and she or he reacts like a singer. Even at her dying, she has a aptitude for the dramatic: “Scarpia, avanti a Dio!” is, frankly, an ideal final line.
The manufacturing doesn’t reinvent the wheel, although it’s fashionable sufficient, a bit like a extra streamlined Zeffirelli. The units span varied visible ranges: the 3D gilt and overstuffed glitz of the cathedral within the first act yields slowly to extreme sparseness, nearly flatness, on the Castel Sant’Angelo within the third act.
The views are by no means fairly proper although, due largely to McVicar’s mystifying stage-left rake, which is simply…bizarre? Why is it raked that prime? Why is it raked to the facet, when the entire level of a rake is in order that we see what’s taking place upstage (the place mainly no blocking occurs anyway)?
It really works effectively in Scarpia’s workplace, as a technique to emphasize his crookedness, however the different places—particularly within the third act—felt like we had been watching Tosca through the sinking of the Titanic. It knocks the entire exhibit kilter and undermines McVicar’s different, extra placing visible selections, just like the screaming ladies on Scarpia’s workplace partitions.
Within the title function, Aleksandra Kurzak was dramatically well-cast as Tosca, however there have been occasional vocal bumps. She dedicated completely to Tosca’s darkish facet, that emphasis on chest register that makes the function tough, to nice impact.
However the earthiness and presence that infused her chest register all through had the unhappy downside of weighing down her the excessive notes, which, whereas at all times in tune, didn’t at all times obtain fairly sufficient spin to seize Tosca’s angelic facet. Her “Vissi d’arte” was tragic and chic, nevertheless, displaying Kurzak’s ability with a young pianissimo.
As our heroine, she was onerous to look away from: initially, she seemed lovely (that sparkly black costume!), however extra importantly, she made Tosca’s Act I jealousy really feel sympathetic as a substitute of screechy (let’s be trustworthy, if my painter boyfriend painted a sizzling blonde as a substitute of me, I too would lose it— solely an early dying would stop a fuckboy like Cavaradossi from dishonest on her finally), and revealed a coolness in her therapy of Scarpia’s corpse that confirmed Tosca has nerves of metal.
Tosca is a fairly unhealthy bitch, all issues thought-about, and Kurzak saved her wits very a lot about her.
Michael Fabiano, after a little bit of an unwieldy begin in Act I (all depth, no squillo or vice versa), improved because the evening progresses. Fabiano debuted the function solely final yr, and to me it appears like there are nonetheless just a few rising pains as he settles into it.
He delivered a very heroic “Vittoria” B-flat after the announcement of Napoleon’s victory, although, discovering the steadiness between gentle and darkish in his voice and showing to show himself mainly inside-out in to take action (My date audibly stated “whoa!”)
By “Elucevan le stelle,” he’d taken a firmer maintain of the reins, dramatically and vocally, and in nice Puccini tenor model, labored the entire ground to earn his “bravos.”
Luca Salsi, within the function of “Grossest Man in Opera” (Scarpia), was, effectively, gross and scary in the easiest way, wielding his energy bodily presence and big fingers as weapons over the smaller Kurzak, and singing with a metallic gleam to his sturdy baritone. Patrick Carfizzi because the Sacristan was completely pleasant, bringing the bodily comedy in an enormous means, and enlivening your complete first act with wit.
Tosca is a basic for a purpose, and the Met affords a succesful manufacturing of it.